Emeralds pitching falters in loss

Eugene, OR – For the third game in a row, the Eugene Emeralds and Vancouver Canadians combined to exhibit an offensive showcase for the crowd at Civic Stadium, only this time, the C's finally managed to come out on top.

Vancouver scored seven runs in each of the first two games of the series, but gave up a combined 27 runs in losing efforts. The third contest of the Emeralds' homestand was much of the same as the two teams battled with dueling bats en route to a 10-8 victory for the Canadians.

"I guess it was a good series for us," said Emeralds second baseman Eric Sogard. "We came out on top, but we really would have liked to get this game today."

Sogard went 1-for-3 with two runs scored in the offensive exhibit

"It's tough when we have to go out there as an offense and put up 10 to win, but hopefully our pitching will come around and shut them down a little better," Sogard said.

Before the three game series against Vancouver, the Emeralds' pitching staff had been the envy of the Northwest League. The team combined to sport a 2.41 ERA, easily the best mark in the team's history. Since the offensive barrage against the Canadians, the Emeralds' team ERA has swelled to 2.73. The pitching staff still leads the NWL in this category, though a jump of 0.3 over a quarter of the way through the season is considerable.

The Canadians got the jump on Ems early on Monday, collecting five runs in the second and third inning against starting pitcher Matt Teague, doubling his season total of five earned runs to 10. Corey Brown attacked first with a deep two-run bomb to right field that landed just to the left of the scoreboard. Daniel Hamblin next got the drop on Teague, sending a three-run blast to the opposite side of the field to increase the Canadians' lead to 5-0.

"They came out swinging the bat well today," Sogard said.

The Emeralds did not stand idly by, however, and answered back against Leonardo Martinez in the bottom of the inning. Justin Baum hit a two-run double to center field that scored Robbie Blauer and Luis Durango. Baum finished the day as the Ems' most impressive offensive player, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Vancouver attacked again in the fifth as Hamblin and Brown each hit RBI singles against Dustin Gibbs to bring the score to 7-2.

Once again, the Emeralds struck back in the bottom of the inning. Baum drove in Durango for a second time and Keith Conlon drove in Sogard in the ensuing at-bat. After Scott Hodsdon replaced Leonardo Martinez, Luis Martinez hit a sacrifice fly to score Baum and end the scoring run.

The Emeralds came back to tie the game up at seven runs apiece when Luis Martinez and Danny Payne each drove in runs against Hodsdon in the seventh, but the tie was short lived. The Canadians poured on three runs over the next two innings against Colt Hynes and Jackson Quezada. Payne hit an RBI line drive in the ninth to spark a potential comeback, but the rally died when Justin Pickett was called out on strikes with two runners on to end the game.

Despite the high score, the Emeralds' pitching staff managed to ring up 15 strikeouts on the day, led by Matt Latos' four in 1.2 innings of work. Latos was the only pitcher that did not give up a run on the day.

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